Saundra Smith Rubiera
United Arts Council
I have spent my life studying, teaching, and making art. What inspires me to pick up a pencil, brush, or pen, and make marks on paper or canvas is the same now as it was when I first started out as an artist: color, pattern, and flattened space.
For me, color needs to be as intense and bright as I can make it. I want my colors to be exciting, like opening a new box of crayons on the first day of school.
My work is flat and decorative. I am mad for pattern, texture, and interesting marks. I like the movement they create in a drawing or painting and the way they activate the surface by breaking large shapes into smaller colored spots.
Although I draw from life, I make a conscious effort to flatten the space in the picture plane by tilting it toward the viewer and altering the perspective. The objects looked stacked, one on top of the other, vertically, rather than one behind the other, horizontally.
There is also an element of "storytelling" in my work. The objects I draw and paint are objects I touch or use every day--objects perhaps unimportant to others, but which have meaning for me beyond my finding them interesting or beautiful. These objects evoke stories from my own memories or sometimes stories I make up about them.
I find these stories funny or whimsical, sometimes sad, sometimes silly. We all struggle, I think, daily, with horrors in the news and difficulties in our own lives. In my drawings, there is no cruelty or violence, no war or hunger or pain. I am aware that this is not the real world, but I want the viewer to forget all that if only for a moment. I want my work to be a feast for the eyes.
Saundra Smith Rubiera is a North Carolina artist who works in colored pencils, markers, acrylic paints, and linocuts. She has an MFA degree from East Carolina University with a major in painting and a minor in printmaking. She is a retired art teacher and has illustrated three published books. Saundra’s work has been exhibited in national, regional, and local shows. Her business, Dancing Lady Designs, creates custom art and furniture for children’s rooms.
Saundra was a 2017 recipient of an Individual Artist Grant. The grant funded the framing of this travelling show which has been shown in six locations throughout the state. The Regional Artist Project Support program is administered and funded by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County with support from the NC Arts Council and the counties of Lee, Moore, Richmond, Robertson, and Scotland, the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and private contributions.